When the Original Poster (OP) generously funds his daughter’s college expenses, tensions flare as he grapples with the decision to do the same for his less academically inclined son. As accusations of favoritism and shattered dreams cause drama within the family, OP stands at the precipice of a decision that could change everything.
OP has two children, Lilly and Jim. Jim recently graduated high school, while Lilly is in her third year of college. Tensions rise as OP grapples with the decision of paying for Jim’s college tuition.
The Expectations of an Ex
OP faces mounting pressure from his ex-wife over college finances. She believes he should equally fund Jim’s education as he does for Lilly. However, OP stands firm in his decision, leading to estrangement.
Lilly graduated high school with an impeccable 4.0 GPA, proving her academic prowess. She secured a full scholarship to an esteemed institution. Despite this support, Lilly takes on a job as a lab tech, further highlighting her commitment.
Jim’s high school journey wasn’t smooth, culminating in a 2.1 GPA. His commitment to education was often lax, missing school for extended periods. This indifference toward education leads OP to doubt Jim’s future efforts.
The College Surprise
Unbeknownst to OP, Jim applied and got accepted into the state’s lowest-ranking college. This revelation is shocking, especially considering Jim’s high school track record. The college’s exorbitant tuition becomes the central issue.
The Financial Disparity
While Lilly’s full scholarship greatly reduces her expenses, Jim’s chosen college is surprisingly costly. OP compares the vast financial differences between supporting both kids. He emphasizes that Jim’s tuition for one semester surpasses Lilly’s annual expenses.
An Offer on the Table
Hoping for a compromise, OP suggests Jim attend a community college or trade school first. He offers to cover these costs, ensuring Jim gets a foundational education. This, however, isn’t well-received by Jim or his mother.
Jim and his mother are furious at OP’s refusal to pay the tuition. They accuse OP of favoritism and claim he’s hampering Jim’s future. The conflict intensifies, straining family ties.
A Financial Perspective
OP could potentially afford Jim’s college expenses but is reluctant. Given Jim’s past academic performance, OP fears wasting a significant amount. He contemplates the balance between financial prudence and parental support.
OP’s family, including Lilly, stands by his decision. They believe that aiding Jim financially, given the circumstances, is unreasonable. Lilly emphasizes that her financial needs are incomparable to Jim’s.
The Silent Treatment
Feeling betrayed, Jim decides to cut ties with OP. This decision weighs heavily on OP, adding to the existing familial strain. It’s a testament to how deeply the financial dispute has impacted their relationship.
OP’s ex-wife is relentless, continuously reaching out to persuade him. She accuses OP of destroying Jim’s aspirations. Her persistence, combined with Jim’s silence, leaves OP feeling besieged.
Despite the mounting pressure, OP remains steadfast in his decision. He believes he’s making the right choice based on Jim’s track record. The dilemma of doing right by his child while being financially sensible continues.
Lilly, having benefited from OP’s support, shares her perspective. She believes her and Jim’s situations are distinct and shouldn’t be compared. Her insights add another layer to OP’s decision-making process.
The Burden of Expectation
Jim and his mother’s expectations of OP are high, stemming from Lilly’s precedent. They believe OP should treat both children equally. However, OP is torn, knowing that their situations are intrinsically different.
The Price of Education
The escalating costs of education come into sharp focus. OP is confronted with the real-world implications of supporting his child’s education. The vast differences in Lilly and Jim’s education costs further complicate matters.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “I don’t think it would be fair to Lilly if her brother got more money from you despite his poor GPA and academic record, while she is by all accounts a hardworking student who got a full scholarship. Community college is a perfectly valid path to get one’s start in life if he wants to go to college.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I strongly advise that you have an open and civilized discussion with Jim about his options and find out what he wants from life; sounds like he’s missing direction, which is why he flunked, while Lily knows what she wants.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “On a cost-benefit analysis, graduating from one of these poorly rated schools isn’t particularly helpful as the degrees don’t have much value, and it is unlikely, given the atmosphere, that the level of classes and what is learned is especially high.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Jim needs to grow up and learn about responsibility. Yes, parents should support their kids’ education, but the very LEAST the child should do in return is put the work in and take that education seriously. Talk about entitlement.”